Writing life

Graeme Simsion

On where, when and how he wrote his hilarious Don Tillman novels, The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect

Hatching plans

I don’t have a routine. I used to be a freelance consultant and had to fit my writing around my day job’s shifting demands. Now I fit it around book tours, festivals and signings. And, much of the time, I’m not actually writing: I’m planning, thinking, problem-solving. On planes, in hotels, walking. 

That said, my favourite place for writing is a shack we own an hour’s drive from Melbourne. My wife, Anne Buist, and I spend most weekends there when we’re not out of the country. She’s also a published writer. A writing day there might look like this:

Wake, revive the fire, fire up the espresso machine. Tea first –herbal for me. Jog. Shower and breakfast. The healthy stuff ends there. Coffee.

Coffee and bad piano

Write from about 9am ‘til 5pm with interruptions for lunch and to load up the slow cooker for dinner. I’m the cook. More coffee. Occasionally Anne will use me as a human thesaurus and I’ll run a scene past her. But mainly it’s the two of us sitting in armchairs in the same room, with our laptops, typing away. 

5pm: cocktails, probably margaritas. I sear a tuna steak on the barbecue and make guacamole. We talk about what we’ve done, what problems we’re having. No TV. We open a bottle of wine, still talking about writing, but less productively, and have dinner. We talk about other things: maybe planning our next walk. We read. I may play some bad piano, I load up the fire, and that’s the day done. 

By the author

The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is a story about love, life and lobster every Tuesday...

Don Tillman has got his love life planned out. He knows exactly who he wants, but is it who he needs?


'Adorable' Marian Keyes

'I couldn't put this book down. It's one of the most quirky and endearing romances I've ever read. I laughed the whole way through' Sophie Kinsella


Love isn't an exact science - but no one told Don Tillman. A thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don's never had a second date. So he devises the Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie - 'the world's most incompatible woman' - throwing Don's safe, ordered life into chaos. But what is this unsettling, alien emotion he's feeling?

'Marvellous' John Boyne

'A sweet, funny rom-com . . . You'll be willing Don and Rosie on every step of the way' Marie Claire

Hilarious, unlikely and heartbreaking' Easy Living

'Original, clever and perfectly written' Jill Mansell

The Rosie Effect

Graeme Simsion

The hilarious sequel to Graeme Simsion's bestselling debut novel The Rosie Project.

Forty-one-year-old geneticist Don Tillman had never had a second date before he met Rosie.

Now, living in New York City, they have survived ten months and ten days of marriage, even if Don has had to sacrifice standardized meals and embrace unscheduled sex.

But then Rosie drops the mother of all bombshells. And Don must prepare for the biggest challenge of his previously ordered life - at the same time as dodging deportation, prosecution and professional disgrace.

Is Don Tillman ready to become the man he always dreamed of being? Or will he revert to his old ways and risk losing Rosie for ever?

Join Don and Rosie in the next chapter of their weird and wonderful journey in Graeme Simsion's unmissable new novel, The Rosie Effect.

Praise for The Rosie Effect:

'A wholly absorbing, vivid read that leaves you pining to be reunited with its characters every time you put it down - if you're able to'

'Don Tillman is the protagonist who keeps on giving. He is a gem, an empirical laser trained on human shortcomings, especially male ones, and even more especially his own. He is also utterly charming in his lack of guile and his belief in improvability . . . blissfully comic'
Evening Standard

'Simsion is very smart at negotiating the line between a satire of the whole modern baby-rearing neurosis and drawing intriguing characters . . . this book is an intelligent piece of fun'
The Times

'Offers plenty more laugh-out-loud moments'

'Touching and entertaining'
Mail on Sunday

'Quirky and sweetly funny, you will want to join the Don Tillman fan club all over again'
Sun on Sunday

'Genuinely heartwarming, truly endearing, plenty of LOLs. You may end up a blubbing wreck'

'There is much to love in this comedy of errors'
Sunday Express

'If you loved The Rosie Project, I don't see how you could fail to love this funny, poignant sparkler of a novel too'
Woman & Home

'Equally heart-warming and hilarious'
Good Housekeeping

'The hilarious follow-up to The Rosie Project, one of the best novels I've read in ages. There's no sophomore slump here . . . It's a funny novel that also made me think about relationships. A sweet, entertaining, and thought-provoking book'
Bill Gates

Graeme Simsion is a full-time writer. His first novel, The Rosie Project, was originally written as a screenplay and won the Australian Writers' Guild/Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy Script in 2010. As a novel, it won the Australian Book Industry Association Book of the Year for 2014. Rights have been sold in forty-two countries and The Rosie Project is now a bestselling novel worldwide. In the UK, it was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club and was voted the most popular title for the Spring 2014 campaign.

Graeme lives in Australia with his wife Anne, a professor of psychiatry and published author, and their two children. The Rosie Effect is his second novel.

Find out more about the author

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